The Soil System

"...we might say that a wholesome soil environment, in good pH and nutritional valance, is actually the first priority.  It naturally follows that the nitrogen-carbon system can begin to work to fuel the whole soil energy system for a perpetual release of nutrition.  The soil now becomes self-sustaining, but only if we cultivate the art and exercise common sense judgment as we farm the soils.  It is then that protein production results and synthetic chemical and herbicidal systems are really not required.  In the final analysis, it is protein agriculture that makes it possible for an acre to be farmed decade after decade, century after century."
- Charles Walters in Eco-Farm (2003)